Install Pydio Cells with MariaDB on Ubuntu 20.04

Updated on June 28, 2021


Pydio Cells is a cloud-based collaboration application for sharing files. The open-source software runs on your own IT infrastructure and empowers your staff to protect and monitor your company's data.

With Pydio Cells, you can synchronize your data and access it from anywhere using a mobile app, desktop software, or a web browser. The Pydio Cells Software is based on a micro-service architecture and is written in the Golang language offering better code clarity and ease of use.

As an acronym for Put Your Data in Orbit, Pydio has been designed for the future with scalability in mind. In this guide, you'll install, configure, and run the Pydio Cells with a MariaDB database on your Ubuntu 20.04 server.


Before you proceed with this Pydio Cells setup, make sure you have the following:

1. Set Up a Dedicated Pydio User Account and Create a Directory Structure

SSH to your server and create a dedicated pydio user.

$ sudo useradd -m -s /bin/bash pydio

Next, use the Linux mkdir command to create the two directories below.

$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/pydio/bin
$ sudo mkdir -p /var/cells/certs

Assign the ownership of the above directories to the pydio user.

$ sudo chown -R pydio: /opt/pydio
$ sudo chown -R pydio: /var/cells

Next, run the command below to set system-wide environment variables for the Pydio Cells application.

$ sudo tee -a /etc/profile.d/ << EOF

Then enter the following commands:

  > export CELLS_WORKING_DIR=/var/cells
  > export CADDYPATH=/var/cells/certs
  > EOF

Ensure your new Pydio Cells environment file has the correct permissions.

$ sudo chmod 0755 /etc/profile.d/

Next, switch to the pydio user.

$ sudo su - pydio

Next, display the value of $CELLS_WORKING_DIR variable to check if it was saved on your system.


If your settings are correct, you should now see the output below.


End the pydio user login session.

$ exit

You'll now create a database and a dedicated user for the Pydio Cells application with the correct directory structure and environment.

2. Create a Pydio Database and a User Account

Log in to your MariaDB server as root.

$ sudo mysql -u root -p

When prompted, key in your root password and press Enter to continue. Then, execute the SQL commands below to create a database and a user account for the Pydio Cels software. Replace EXAMPLE_PASSWORD with a strong value.

         GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES on pydio.* TO 'pydio_user'@'localhost' identified by 'EXAMPLE_PASSWORD';

The Pydio Cells service uses the database you've created to store content. Next, you'll download the Pydio Cells binary.

3. Download and Install the Pydio Cells Binary

Switch your current login session to the pydio user.

$ sudo su - pydio

Next, download the Pydio Cells installation package by typing the commands below.

$ distribId=cells
$ wget -O /opt/pydio/bin/cells${distribId}/release/{latest}/linux-amd64/${distribId}

Make the file you've just downloaded executable.

$ chmod a+x /opt/pydio/bin/cells

End your pydio user login session.

$ exit

As a sudo user, bind the Pydio Cells binary to the default HTTP ports by running the commands below.

$ sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /opt/pydio/bin/cells

Next, make cells a system-wide command by adding it to /usr/local/bin/cells.

$ sudo ln -s /opt/pydio/bin/cells /usr/local/bin/cells

Switch the login session back to the pydio user.

$ sudo su - pydio

Execute the command below to check the version of the Pydio Cells.

$ cells version

You should now see the following output.

Pydio Cells Home Edition
 Version:       2.2.8
 Built:         31 May 21 07:37 +0000
 Git commit:    b67c983cc5ed26767324a596eb3cd4b0464ddc7d
 OS/Arch:       linux/amd64
 Go version:    go1.15.11

Once you've installed the Pydio Cells application, the next step is configuring it to run in your server with the database settings you've set up.

4. Configure the Pydio Cells Software

While still logged as the pydio user, run the command below to configure Pydio Cells.

$ cells configure

From the output that appears, press Pagedown and choose Command line (performed in this terminal). Then, press Enter to proceed.

Welcome to Pydio Cells Home Edition installation
Pydio Cells Home Edition (v2.2.8) will be configured to run on this machine.
Make sure to prepare access and credentials to a MySQL 5.6+ (or MariaDB equivalent) server.
Pick your installation mode when you are ready.

Use the arrow keys to navigate: ↓ ↑ → ←
? Installation mode:
    Browser-based (requires a browser access)
  ▸ Command line (performed in this terminal)

Next, choose TCP as the option for connecting to your MariaDB server and press Enter.

## Database Connection
Use the arrow keys to navigate: ↓ ↑ → ←
? Database Connection Type:
  ▸ TCP

Set the database hostname to localhost and press Enter.

## Database Connection
✔ Database Hostname: localhost

Ensure the database port is 3306. Then, press Enter.

✔ Database Port: 3306

Next, enter pydio as the database name and press Enter.

✔ Database Name: pydio

Enter pydio_user as the database user and press Enter.

✔ Database User: pydio_user

Provide a password that you create for the pydio_user and press Enter.

✔ Database Password (leave empty if not needed): EXAMPLE_PASSWORD

Once you've entered all the database configuration information, you should see a confirmation message showing that Pydio Cells has connected to your database.

✔ Successfully connected to the database

Next, configure an administrative account for your Pydio Cells software. Begin by entering a username(e.g. admin) and press Enter.

## Administrative User Configuration
✔ Admin Login: admin

Please enter a new password for the admin account and confirm it. Press Enter in each step to proceed.

✗ Admin Password: EXAMPLE_PASSWORD
✗ Confirm Password: EXAMPLE_PASSWORD

Next, confirm the default storage location by pressing Enter.

## Default storage location
Use the arrow keys to navigate: ↓ ↑ → ←
? Your files will be stored on local filesystem under '/var/cells/data'. Do you want to change this?:
  ▸ It's ok for me, use default location
    Select another local folder
    Store data in S3-compatible storage (requires api key/secret)

In the end, you'll see a confirmation message that your Pydio Cells installation has been completed.

✔ Installation Finished

In the next step, you'll test the installation on a web browser to check if everything is in place.

5. Start the Pydio Cells

While still logged in as a pydio user, start the Pydio Cells application by typing the command below.

$ cells start

On a web browser, visit the URL below and replace with your server's public IP address.

Enter the admin credentials and click ENTER to log in.


You should be navigated to the Pydio Cells dashboard, as shown below.


You can now create new folders from the dashboard, upload files, and share them with your co-workers/friends.

6. Configure Pydio Cells Websites

By default, the Pydio Cells runs on port 8080. You can configure the Pydio Cells application to run on port 443 and map your domain name to the application. To do this, no other service should be running on this port.

First stop the Pydio Cells application by pressing Ctrl + C. Next, run the command below as a pydio user.

$ cells configure sites

Respond to each prompt as shown below.

Do you want to create a new site (it will replace the default one): :key_y: :key_enter:
Binding Port: 443
Other (enter your own ip/domain): DOMAIN_NAME :key_enter:
Do you want to add another host? [y/N] : :key_n: :key_enter:
Choose TLS activation mode:  Let's Encrypt: automagically generate domain certificates signed by LetsEncrypt Authority :key_enter:
Please enter the mail address for certificate generation: EXAMPLE_EMAIL_ADDRESS :key_enter:
Do you agree to the Let's Encrypt SA? [Y/n] : :key_y: :key_enter:
If this site is accessed through a reverse proxy, provide full external URL ( :key_enter:
Do you want to save this configuration: :key_y: :key_enter:

Once completed, your see the following output.

   Config has been updated, please restart Cells now.

Restart Pydio cells

$ sudo su - pydio
$ cells start


... Restart done

Check the new site on a web browser.

You've configured a new Pydio Cells website. Next, you will enable the cells service to start on boot.

7. Enable Pydio Cells To Start Automatically On Boot

First, stop the Pydio Cells service by pressing Ctrl + C. Then, exit from the pydio user session.

$ exit

Next open a new startup configuration file under /etc/systemd/system/ as a sudo user.

$ sudo nano  /etc/systemd/system/cells.service

Then, enter the information below into the file.

Description=Pydio Cells

ExecStart=/opt/pydio/bin/cells start

# Add environment variables


Save and close the file by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y and Enter. Then, reload the systemd daemon.

$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Issue the command to enable the cells service to start on boot.

$ sudo systemctl enable cells

Then, restart the cells service.

$ sudo systemctl restart cells

At this time, you can now access your Pydio application from the URL below without issuing the cells start command every time your server boots. Replace with the correct domain name pointing to your server.


In this tutorial, you've installed the Pydio Cells with a MariaDB database on your Ubuntu 20.04. Use the cloud-based file-sharing software to get more control of your data and ensure efficient collaboration in your organization.